St. Benedict Middle School Reading Website
by Mr. Konieczny
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St. Benedict Middle School Reading Website
Grade 4

The St. Benedict Middle School reading program uses the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Reading series (copyright © 2005 by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill).

Unit 1 Unit 2
The Lost Lake Justin and the Best Biscuits...
Amelia's Road Just a Dream
Sarah, Plain and Tall Leah's Pony
Seal Journey Baseball Saved Us
Open Wide, Don't Bite! Will Her Native Language Disappear?
Unit 3 Unit 4
The Hatmaker's Sign Scruffy...
Pat Cummings: My Story Gluskabe and the Snow Bird
Grass Sandals... Meet an Underwater Explorer
A Place Called Freedom On the Bus with Joanna Cole
Twisted Trails Earth's First Creatures
Unit 5 Unit 6
The Fox and the Guinea Pig Teammates
Mom's Best Friend The Malachite Palace
The Rajah's Rice The Toothpaste Millionaire
Yeh-Shen Whales
Can We Rescue the Reefs? Saving the Everglades


Unit 1: Reflections
Stories let us share the experiences of others.

The Lost Lake
Summary: A father and son set out to find a special place to camp and end up reflecting on the special relationship they have with each other.
Comprehension: Story Elements
Vocabulary:

  1. brand-new
  2. compass
  3. darted
  4. mug
  5. muttered
  6. talker
Top

Amelia's Road
Summary: A little girl moves from place to place with her migrant family. Though she longs for a real home, Amelia manages to find a place for herself.
Comprehension: Problem and Solution
Vocabulary:

  1. accidental
  2. labored
  3. occasions
  4. rhythms
  5. shortcut
  6. shutters
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Sarah, Plain and Tall
Summary: A mail-order bride leaves Maine to start a new life as a wife and mother on the prairie. As the family adjusts to the changes and the new experiences, they have time to reflect on the things that are important to them.
Comprehension: Story Elements
Vocabulary:

  1. eerie
  2. huddled
  3. overalls
  4. pesky
  5. reins
  6. squall
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Seal Journey
Summary: A photographer and his son go to Prince Edward Island to learn about the life cycle of harp seals.
Comprehension: Main Idea
Vocabulary:

  1. assured
  2. horizon
  3. jagged
  4. mature
  5. nursery
  6. squealed
Top

Time for Kids: Open Wide, Don't Bite!
Summary: A dentist works with some very special patients- animals. The unique problems of working on animals' teeth lead to some creative solutions.
Comprehension: Problem and Solution
Vocabulary:

  1. fangs
  2. reptiles
  3. patients
  4. skills
  5. healthy
  6. broad
Top

Unit 2: Something in Common
Sharing ideas can lead to meaningful cooperation.

Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
Summary: On a visit to Grandpa's ranch, Justin learns all about cowboys. His special connection with Grandpa also teaches him a few things he never would have guessed about chores- or himself.
Comprehension: Make Predictions
Vocabulary:

  1. festival
  2. guilt
  3. inspecting
  4. lingered
  5. pranced
  6. resounded
Top

Just a Dream
Summary: This fantasy tells of one boy's trip into a future shaped by the present day's disregard for the environment. When he awakes, the boy is glad to discover that his trip was "just a dream.".
Comprehension: Sequence of Events
Vocabulary:

  1. bulging
  2. crumpled
  3. foul
  4. haze
  5. shrieking
  6. waddle
Top

Leah's Pony
Summary: Leah is a Depression-era girl whose prize possession is a pony. Drought ruins her family's crops, and Leah sells her pony to raise money. Her sacrifice inspires her neighbors to help her family keep their farm.
Comprehension: Cause and Effect
Vocabulary:

  1. bidding
  2. clustered
  3. county
  4. glistened
  5. overflowing
  6. sturdy
Top

Baseball Saved Us
Summary: Baseball improved morale for Japanese-American families confined to a WWII relocation camp and it helped one boy discover his strengths.
Comprehension: Make Predictions
Vocabulary:

  1. crate
  2. ditches
  3. endless
  4. glinting
  5. inning
  6. mound
Top

Time for Kids: Will Her Native Language Disappear?
Summary: The Choctaw language and many others are in danger of extinction. The Endangered Language Fund and other educational efforts are trying to keep them alive.
Comprehension: Cause and Effect
Vocabulary:

  1. century
  2. generations
  3. communicate
  4. extinct
  5. backgrounds
  6. native
Top

Unit 3: Our Voices
We can each use our talents to communicate ideas.

The Hatmaker's Sign
Summary: Benjamin Franklin tells Thomas Jefferson a story about a hatmaker. The hatmaker's struggle to find just the right words for his sign consoles Jefferson as Congress debates his wording for the Declaration of Independence.
Comprehension: Judgments and Decisions
Vocabulary:

  1. admitted
  2. brisk
  3. displaying
  4. elegantly
  5. strolling
  6. wharf
Top

Pat Cummings: My Story
Summary: This autobiography explains how children's illustrator Pat Cummings first started drawing as a young girl. It also tells why she enjoys drawing pictures of people she knows as well of things in her imagination.
Comprehension: Fact and Opinion
Vocabulary:

  1. exist
  2. image
  3. inspire
  4. loft
  5. reference
  6. sketch
Top

Grass Sandals: The Travels of Basho
Summary: Basho, a seventeenth century Japanese poet, travels through Japan describing the aspects of nature that touch his heart and mind.
Comprehension: Author's Purpose, Point of View
Vocabulary:

  1. chanted
  2. nipped
  3. pouch
  4. restless
  5. scribbled
  6. stitching
Top

A Place Called Freedom
Summary: A family of freed slaves help set up a thriving community in Indiana in 1832.
Comprehension: Fact and Opinion
Vocabulary:

  1. fretted
  2. gourd
  3. plantation
  4. settlement
  5. sunrise
  6. weary
Top

Time for Kids: Twisted Trails
Summary: Adrain Fisher designs walk-through mazes for a living. He had found a way to combine math and science, his favorite subjects, in a way he can share with other people.
Comprehension: Judgments and Decisions
Vocabulary:

  1. challenge
  2. entertaining
  3. mazes
  4. combine
  5. requires
  6. contained
Top

Unit 4: Just Curious
We can find answers in surprising places.

Scruffy: A Wolf Finds His Place in the Pack
Summary: A photographer recounts what he learned observing Scruffy, an Arctic wolf, as he grows up and finds a place in the pack.
Comprehension: Compare and Ccontrast
Vocabulary:

  1. affection
  2. climate
  3. clinging
  4. injury
  5. methods
  6. threat
Top

Gluskabe and the Snow Bird
Summary: This traditional Penobscot tale explains the beginnings of several events in nature.
Comprehension: Fact and Nonfact
Vocabulary:

  1. confusion
  2. freeze
  3. hilltop
  4. lodge
  5. messenger
  6. praised
Top

Meet an Underwater Explorer
Summary: Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist and underwater explorer, has faced many dangers and made significant discoveries about ocean life.
Comprehension: Draw Conclusions
Vocabulary:

  1. connected
  2. endangered
  3. haul
  4. overcome
  5. poisonous
  6. sponge
Top

On the Bust with Joanna Cole
Summary: This autobiography about Joanna Cole, the author of the famous Magic School Bus series, tells how she creates her books from an idea in her mind to the final publication.
Comprehension: Steps in a Process
Vocabulary:

  1. abandon
  2. absorb
  3. available
  4. original
  5. research
  6. traditional
Top

Time for Kids: Earth's First Creatures
Summary: Diverse forms of animal life developed during the Cambrian Period, which began between 510 and 543 million years ago. Some scientists call this the "Cambrian explosion."
Comprehension: Compare and Contrast
Vocabulary:

  1. microscope
  2. ancestors
  3. snout
  4. spikes
  5. weird
  6. disaster
Top

Unit 5: Make a Plan
Often we have to think about a problem in order to solve it.

The Fox and the Guinea Pig
Summary: A guinea pig uses his wits to make a plan when he finds himself in dangerous situations with a hungry fox.
Comprehension: sequence of events
Vocabulary:

  1. amazement
  2. destroyed
  3. eldest
  4. fowl
  5. stake
  6. strewn
Top

Mom's Best Friend
Summary: A girl tells a true story of how her family adapted when her mother's faithful dog guide died and a new dog was trained to take its place
Comprehension: important and unimportant information
Vocabulary:

  1. clippers
  2. errands
  3. instinct
  4. memorizing
  5. relieved
  6. sirens
Top

The Rajah's Rice
Summary: An Indian folktale tells of a young elephant bather who uses her ingenuity to get the Rajah to provide rice for her hungry village. As the Rajah and the villagers find out, math can be used to solve problems in a very interesting way.
Comprehension: make predictions
Vocabulary:

  1. attendants
  2. awkwardly
  3. celebrations
  4. knowledge
  5. released
  6. spice
Top

Yeh-Shen
Summary: Students will read an ancient Chinese version of the Cinderella story.
Comprehension: sequence of events
Vocabulary:

  1. beloved
  2. bid
  3. desire
  4. heaved
  5. marveled
  6. permit
Top

Time for Kids: Can We Rescue the Reefs?
Summary: Students will read about the importance of coral reefs to the ecology of our planet. Our coral reefs are in danger and we need to work together to rescue them.
Comprehension: important and unimportant information
Vocabulary:

  1. coral
  2. reefs
  3. percent
  4. damage
  5. loosened
  6. ton
Top

Unit 6: Sorting It Out
We make decisions that can lead to new dieas and discoveries.

Teammates
Summary: This selection tells how the actions of just a few herioc men changed the face of Major League baseball forever.
Comprehension: casue and effect
Vocabulary:

  1. circulated
  2. extraordinary
  3. organizations
  4. launched
  5. opponents
  6. teammate
Top

The Malachite Palace
Summary: Students will read a fairy tale about a princess who must make a decision about the importance of having friends.
Comprehension: problem and solution
Vocabulary:

  1. cultured
  2. feeble
  3. fragrance
  4. mingled
  5. resembled
  6. scampered
Top

The Toothpaste Millionaire
Summary: Rufus is an enterprising young man who develops a simple new formula for toothpaste. Students will learn about business as Rufus and his friends invest in a factory, machinery, and television advertising.
Comprehension: judgments and decisions
Vocabulary:

  1. brilliant
  2. commercials
  3. expensive
  4. gallon
  5. ingredient
  6. successful
Top

Whales
Summary: Students will read about several kinds of whales to discover how they are alike and different. Students will also learn about the efforts of the International Whaling Commission to help preserve whales.
Comprehension: compare and contrast
Vocabulary:

  1. identify
  2. mammals
  3. marine
  4. pods
  5. preserve
  6. related
Top

Time for Kids: Saving the Everglades
Summary: Students will read about efforts to preserve the plants and animals of Florida's Everglades, a vast area of swampland severely damaged by pollution and land development.
Comprehension: cause and effect
Vocabulary:

  1. soggy
  2. lurk
  3. wildlife
  4. instance
  5. importance
  6. compares
Top

Last Update: July 30, 2005

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